What Is Fasting? | Ooltewah United Methodist Church

During the 40 days of Lent leading up to the celebration of Easter, fasting typically becomes a hot topic. Ooltewah United Methodist Church would like to encourage you to learn more about the practice of fasting and provide some inspiration for your own journey.

In the Bible we read that Jesus fasted from food and drink for 40 days and 40 nights, as part of his spiritual preparation. And indeed, fasting has long been a practice of Methodists. John Wesley saw fasting an integral part of a Christian discipline and fasted weekly. Wesley used the time he would have spent eating for more focused prayer time and aiding the poor.

Fasting typically refers to any practice of restricting food, but there are many different ways to fast from the various things in our life that might become distractions in our walk with Christ. Common fasts may involve restricting solid food for one to three days or on certain days of the week.

What are some of the alternative fasts which a believer might practice?

You might refrain from or restrict:

  • Watching television or movies
  • Shopping or spending unnecessary money
  • Social media use
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar consumption
  • Junk food

Or you might choose to give away some of your:

  • Clothing
  • Food
  • Money
  • Possessions
  • Time

Typically for any spiritual fast, the point is to give away or go without something we enjoy to instead invest that time, energy or resource into getting to know God better and serving others. Fasting always involves at least a bit of sacrifice for the greater good. Through fasting, we retrain our focus away from ourselves and the distractions and back to God.

This season as we go through Lent and approach Easter, we’d love to grow with you. Visit our website to learn more about our small groups, Sunday services and local volunteering opportunities.